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Brake Hardware

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What is brake hardware and where is it located?

Brake hardware refers to all of the pieces that hold your brakes together and allow them to work properly. They are not the moving pieces that help you stop in a hurry, but these parts still play an essential role in good braking performance.

The types and amount of hardware you will need can vary depending on what kind of brakes you have. For example, drum brakes usually require more hardware than disc brakes. Drum brakes have a series of return springs, clips, and retainers that hold the brake shoes in place on the backing plate and keep them away from the drum surface when the brakes are not activated. These pieces can be bought in a kit that contains all of the fasteners for one axle’s brakes. 

Disc brakes have different hardware requirements. Disc brakes use a caliper to push the brake pads into the rotors. The caliper typically sits on a caliper bracket that is mounted directly to the spindle. Most calipers will have a set of slide pins, which allow the caliper to slide back and forth as the brakes are activated. These pins can become worn, rusted, or frozen in place over time and may need to be cleaned and greased or replaced all together when performing a brake service. In addition to the caliper pins, most disc brake setups will have a set of pad slides often referred to as a fit kit. These thin pieces of metal sit on the caliper bracket and give the pad a place to slide on as well as stop them from rattling in the bracket. The last thing you may find with this type of brake system is a “return spring” or “pad spreader”. The job of the pad spreader is to hold the brake pads away from the rotor surface when the brakes are not being applied.

Some cars with rear disc brakes use an auxiliary drum brake for the emergency brakes. This is essentially a complete miniature drum brake built in to the back of the rotor. The auxiliary drum brake has most of the same type of hardware components as a normal drum brake.

How do I Know if my Brake Hardware Needs to be Replaced?

Brake hardware problems will make your brakes overall less effective. The brakes might stick, squeal, or make other noises. You may also find that your brake pedal feels soft or low. The best way to ascertain what’s causing your braking problems is probably to visibly inspect all parts of your brake system. Look for missing clips, bent slides, broken return springs, rust or corrosion. Check that movable parts can move freely. It’s a good idea to inspect your brake hardware any time you are replacing the pads and rotors or drums and shoes.  

Can I Replace Brake Hardware Myself?

Replacing brake hardware can usually be done as part of other brake repairs, so if you can change your brakes, then you can change your brake hardware. Drum brakes can be more difficult to work on then disc brakes, so if you don’t have much mechanical experience, you may want to check your repair manual to see if you feel confident in tackling the drum brake system. When working on brakes it is a good idea to strip, clean, and replace one side at a time so you have the opposite side assembled as a reference. We recommend replacing any brake parts in pairs to keep the brakes even from side to side. Uneven brakes can be dangerous and pull to one side when applied. Also, be sure to test the new brakes at low speed before taking your vehicle on the road. 

Need Replacement Brake Hardware for your Vehicle?

If you need to replace your car or truck’s brake hardware, you have come to the right place for your auto part needs! At 1A Auto, we carry a large selection of aftermarket brake hardware kits, for both disc and drum brakes, at great prices. Our brake hardware kits are made to the highest quality standards and are just what you need to get your ride back in working order again!

We also make shopping for drum and disc brake hardware kits for your car, truck, SUV or van easy - we're here to help you select the right parts for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our brake hardware kits, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online.

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